Very first segment of new northbound 405 carpool lane opens in West L.A.

Earlier lane preparation work on northbound carpool lane in West L.A.

Earlier lane preparation work on northbound carpool lane in West L.A.

Early Monday morning, Metro’s contractor quietly completed lane restriping and freeway sign installation work needed to open an initial 2.4-mile section of northbound 405 carpool lane between the Santa Monica Freeway and Wilshire Boulevard. But hold on: it’s not the official opening yet of the full carpool lane. The remainder of the 7.5-mile lane that extends to the 101 freeway in the San Fernando Valley remains under construction.

Metro’s contractor, Kiewit Infrastructure West, has been conducting a series of nighttime northbound freeway closures — with more planned in the coming weeks — to get the entire lane through West L.A. and the Sepulveda Pass ready for prime time. So, for the time being, the new northbound carpool lane will ultimately convert back to a general purpose lane.

Contractor gets ready to open new carpool lane segment with installation of HOV signage at the freeway median.

Contractor gets ready to open new carpool lane segment with installation of HOV signage at the freeway median.

Carpoolers traveling on the existing northbound carpool lane prior to the I-10 freeway will notice new striping and “HOV Lane” signs for the very first time. For those keeping track, the southbound 405 carpool lane through the area was opened by Caltrans in 2007.

The addition of the carpool lane officially brings the total number of vehicle lanes on the northbound 405 to six. The project also added an extra auxiliary lane between the eastbound to northbound 10 freeway connectors and the Santa Monica Boulevard off-ramp. That’s an extra project benefit to help keep traffic moving as quickly as possible through this heavily traveled portion of the 405.

Metro, Caltrans and Kiewit anticipate the whole 10-mile stretch of new carpool lane will open sometime in late May. An exact opening date has not been finalized, but progress is clearly being made and the full lane opening is in sight. That should be music to the ears of every motorist who drives the 405 on a daily basis.

3 replies

  1. Steve, your statement: “That’s an extra project benefit to help keep traffic moving as quickly as possible through this heavily traveled portion of the 405.” is completely false – this added capacity on the 405 will only attract even more cars and congestion to the area. In a few weeks, Metro will have to finally admit what a waste of money and disruption this project was. It will simply allow for a larger parking lot through the Westside for cars to idle in and pollute the Westside as they inch their way over the hill. Too bad Metro didn’t have the foresight to build any sort of MASS TRANSIT line through this area. Shame on Metro for simply repeating past mistakes – when will your “Highway Team” realize that adding more asphalt does NOTHING to improve congestion or travel times?

  2. the only way to alleviate the traffic for good is to build a train from valencia to irvine right down the middle of the 405….but that makes too much sense and will never happen….

  3. I noticed that the striping dividing the mainline lanes and the HOV lanes are double yellow. Why is this segment not being done in white, per federal code?